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Melicope ternata (J. R. et G. Forst. Char. Gen. Pl. 1776, 56.) Rutaceae


Derivation: The name Melicope is derived from meli = honey and cope = incision. The notched glands in the nectary of the flower gives rise to the name. "Ternata" = "growing in threes", "three of a kind", or "three in a whorl".

The wharangi is not common locally. I have found one mature specimen in the Woodhill Forest Reserve, though younger specimens are more frequently found. The leaves have a slight orange scent when crushed, and the gum from this tree is said to be edible, and excellent as a breath freshener, though I have not checked this out personally.

Here is a picture of the characteristic ternate leaf structure that gives the species its latin name:

6 October 2005. Woodhill Forest Reserve, Woodhill

6 October 2005. Woodhill Forest Reserve, Woodhill

Here is a young wharangi:

27 October 2005. Woodhill Forest Reserve, Woodhill

New Zealand Flora Reference

Family: Rutaceae

Genus: Melicope

Species: Melicope ternata

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